The real need is for a bike path between
Mt. Pleasant and Ephraim
I am responding to your editorial in the Dec. 26th issue about “bike and walking trails.”
As an ultra-distance roadie, aka one who rides and organizes long distance events for those on a road bike, I read your op ed about bike and walking trails with interest.
I have ridden the fabulous bike path starting at Big Rocky Candy Mountain that continues into Sevier County many times. The biggest benefit is not the beauty of the canyon, as one can see that from the highway, but being able to ride a bike without worrying about vehicular traffic, especially on U.S. 89.
As I understand it, shortly after the railroad removed the tracks, the local governments acted quickly to acquire the right-of-way of that property, before it got sold off to private concerns.
In Sanpete County, we also have a decommissioned railroad grade that parallels U.S. 89. The grade makes for very nice and easy traveling on a road bike; it goes from the north end of the county down to Manti and perhaps beyond.
But, over time, most, if not all of that land, has been sold off to private parties. Otherwise that would make an excellent bike and walking path.
The biggest problem for roadies like me is that the southern communities: Gunnison, Manti and Ephraim are landlocked. The only paved connecter is U.S. 89 with its narrow shoulders (it is much wider south of Gunnison all the way to Sevier).
Consequently, it is not safe to ride from one end of the county to the other without jumping on dirt roads, something most roadies avoid. The north end of the county, including Spring City, Mt. Pleasant, Fairview and Fountain Green are much better as they interconnect without the need to ride on U.S. 89.
While building a bike path between Mount Pleasant to Spring City is a start, it doesn’t solve the biggest problem I see: having a bike path between Pigeon Hollow in Mount Pleasant and Ephraim, which would “tie in” Ephraim to the north end of the county and all it’s more rural paved roads.